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12/17/2008
BUSH: I HAD TO TRASH THE FREE MARKET IN ORDER TO SAVE IT

I think Franklin Roosevelt said something eerily similar about the New Deal:

US President George W. Bush said in an interview Tuesday he was forced to sacrifice free market principles to save the economy from “collapse.”

“I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system,” Bush told CNN television, saying he had made the decision “to make sure the economy doesn’t collapse.”

Bush’s comments reflect an extraordinary departure from his longtime advocacy for an unfettered free market, as his administration has orchestrated unprecedented government intervention in the face of a dire financial crisis.

“I am sorry we’re having to do it,” Bush said.

But Bush said government action was necessary to ease the effects of the crisis, offering perhaps his most dire assessment yet of the country’s economy.

“I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is not a, you know, a huge economic crisis. Look, we’re in a crisis now. I mean, this is — we’re in a huge recession, but I don’t want to make it even worse.”

Let’s get something clear. What Bush and Obama are doing has nothing to do with “saving” the free market” and everything to do with saving the hides of politicians who are responding to the cries of frightened people by overturning sound economic principles in favor of corporate handouts to failing companies who gambled and lost and now want the taxpayer to subsidize their recklessness and incompetence.

And just what does Bush call this economy if not “collapsed?” He is pumping $8 trillion into the economy and I would like to know what difference it has made? The credit markets are no better, unemployment is skyrocketing, businesses from Main Street to Wall Street are either failing or hanging on by a thread. Negative growth, prices deflating, and consumer confidence is the lowest it has been since records have been kept.

Tell me, what good has all this free money done? What has it prevented? Worse? It is hard to see how things could be much worse. If Bush had allowed market forces to work as they should have, we would have seen bankruptcies, mergers, reorganizing, and a general winnowing out of winners and losers. Yes, people would be no better off - they would still be losing their jobs, companies would still be closing their doors, unemployment would still be skyrocketing.

But the seeds of recovery would already have been sown. Successful companies would know how to weather this storm and emerge on the other side even stronger. Once recovery began, it would be rapid and robust.

All of this bailout money has delayed the inevitable. It is not steering the economy to a soft landing. It is not saving one single job. Even the auto bailout is delaying the inevitable collapse of car companies that make few products that people want to buy and who refuse to face the fact that their labor costs and business plan are outdated, outmoded, and out of luck. Eventually, we are going to have to nationalize The Big Three completely or keep pumping tens of billions of dollars down a black hole of failure, cowardice, and incompetence.

George Bush is a fool if he think he has “saved” anything.

This blog post originally appears in The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 10:18 am
13 Responses to “BUSH: I HAD TO TRASH THE FREE MARKET IN ORDER TO SAVE IT”
  1. 1
    David Said:
    11:14 am 

    Cranking up the printing presses and incurring more debt to stabilize a severe free market correction is the next logical step in dumbing down the economy where the “winners” are “too big to fail” and the losers are taxpayers who managed their finances and accumulated savings.

    Bush acted like Hoover so he wouldn’t end up being remembered like Hoover. Franklin Delano Barak Hussein Obama and his band of Keynesian dwarfs (Barney, Chris, Nancy, Harry, Chuckie, Carl and Teddy) are going to plop socialized healthcare on top of this entitlement sundae and the train is going to fly off the tracks.

  2. 2
    lionheart Said:
    11:39 am 

    Well put.

    Bankruptcy is not necessarily a bad thing for corporations. During the reorg, dead wood is trimmed, salaries are adjusted to competitive market levels, viable business plans are implemented, and the company positions itself to emerge as a going concern. Old leadership is usually punished, and fresh blood is brought in.

    Bush needs to let them fail, and then he will have “saved” something.

  3. 3
    B.Poster Said:
    11:47 am 

    It is too much government regulation and interference in the market place by the Government that got us into this situation in the first place. By proposing more government intervention Bush and his advisors are simply doing more of what caused the problem in the first place.

    If Bush really wants to “save” the economy, the optimal solution would be to get the Government out of the maplace all together.

  4. 4
    Eyas Said:
    1:11 pm 

    It amazes me that so many people have seemed to buy into this absurdity. I’m glad you’re not one of them.

    “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” How can anyone take this seriously?

    Is this supposed to be like Nietzsche’s “that which does not kill us makes us stronger”. Or is it more like “if you love something, set it free.”

    There may be situations and areas of study where seemingly paradoxical actions yield positive results — but this is NOT one of them. One cannot save the free-market system by not only “abandoning” it, but by thwarting, subverting, overturning, and utterly destroying it.

    Anyone remember the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve? When the Man of Steel flew around the Earth to reverse its rotation and turn back time?

    This is what George Bush is trying to say he is doing. Did anyone else, when watching Superman, think: “Um, okay. This guy can fly in space to spin the plante backwards — But, ah, why aren’t all the people, buildings, plants, animals, oceans, atmosphere, and continents simply flying off into space?”

    President Bush, like a movie character, is asking us to entirely suspend disbelief.

  5. 5
    michael reynolds Said:
    1:25 pm 

    I find myself uncharacteristically uncertain about this issue. I just don’t know. I guess we’ll see.

    The politics, however, are clear enough, including the fact that if Detroit dies the GOP can kiss Michigan and Ohio and much of the rest of the rust belt goodbye for a long, long time. The GOP will be a regional rather than a national party.

    Not when 53% of UNION members oppose the auto bailout. I think you underestimate the feeling that is building up out in the country. There are a lot of people who are unsure about $8 trillion being given out like it was penny candy.

    ed.

  6. 6
    michael reynolds Said:
    4:32 pm 

    Actually, I’d like to say that I’m prepared to vote Republican in perpetuity in exchange for a bailout. A modest .01% of that 8 trillion would ensure my loyalty.

  7. 7
    Gayle Miller Said:
    5:23 pm 

    When I think about the absolutely merciless POUNDING this good man has endured at the hands of the leftwingnut crowd for the past 7+ years, he should be cut miles of slack by everyone. And the unintended consequences of the huge economic slowdown is that those who wish us ill are affected far more than are we! Chavez is running out of money, as is that flaming nutbar Ahmadinejad! Even Putin is going to have to scale back on his maniacal desire to bring back the USSR - his oil revenues are in the toilet right now!

  8. 8
    David C. Said:
    5:30 pm 

    “his longtime advocacy for an unfettered free market”

    I wonder how massively increasing regulation and regulatory spending throughout his administration somehow makes him a noted advocate of “unfettered” markets.

  9. 9
    DaveinPhoenix Said:
    9:41 pm 

    This sounds like the same nonsense that goes like: “the global cooling is actually caused by global warming”…. WTF ??? Bush is either more stupid than I ever thought or incredibly evil. I’m trying to figure out which one….I just feel bad ’cause I voted for the loser TWICE. Maybe I’m the stupid one. Anyway, I’m off to destroy my computer so I can save it…..how ’bout we all vote NO incumbents in the future so we can save America ?

  10. 10
    Your Brother Jim Said:
    12:30 pm 

    ……I’m just a tad surprised that no one has yet invoked the oxymoronic (or paradoxical - take your pick) absurdism that is the clear parent of Bush’s statement - that of the nameless army lieutenant in Vietnam who remarked after burning a hamlet to the ground that had been a suspected refuge for VC sappers - “It was necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.”

  11. 11
    lionheart Said:
    12:39 pm 

    Michael,

    We’d have to pass “card check” at the national level to ensure that you keep your word.

  12. 12
    Hyperion Said:
    7:13 pm 

    DaveinPhoenix wrote:
    Maybe I’m the stupid one.

    or just slow. it appears that your brain is functioning now.

  13. 13
    Sharleen Nicholson Said:
    2:34 pm 

    Bush’s statement doesn’t make sense unless he first admits that the “free market system,” as he administered it, didn’t work.

    He should start by saying “I screwed up the free market system so thoroughly it’s close to collapse so now I have to dump trillions in to stave off a depression.”

    Yep, folks. We watched it happen and no one did anything. We’ve been watching the jobs leave, the manufacturing leave, the work visas flowing, the illegal immigrants coming in.

    We even watched as Fannie and Freddie created a man-made mortgage crisis yet no one in government takes responsibility. Hearings on the hill can’t name a single culprit.

    No one tells us that Texas spent an estimated $650,000,000 on healthcare for illegal aliens last year and that California, now going broke, spent $400,000,000 on the same. There are just some things we’re not allowed to talk about.

    No one talks about the money, from lobbyists, that Fannie and Freddie threw at everyone to keep going, and going, and going while some profited big time.

    There are some things people don’t talk about.

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